"...a chickpea is neither a chick nor a pea... discuss." -- Mike Myers as Linda Richman on SNL's "Coffee Talk"
Jamaica Hell Fire is a line of hot sauce products put out by "Dr. Duphorn, Johnston and Co.", in Tampa, Florida. There are three different varieties of their product, each having a slightly different level of heat and/or flavour:
- Jamaica Hell Fire 2 in 1
- Jamaica Hell Fire 4 in 1
- Jamaica Hell Fire Doc's Special
This said, the Ms. Richman quote above, or any variation thereof, always seemed appropriate to me because the Jamaica Hell Fire branded products are neither Jamaican nor are they particularly fiery... well at least not to me. What they lack in heat, however, they make up for in flavour.
More often than not, these days, hot sauces are simply spicy for the sake of being spicy... and there's nothing wrong with that, to be honest -- I'm a chilehead, and I go through bottles of hot sauce, sometimes indiscriminately, when cooking, often trying to get those searing capsaicin swaths through my chilis and other dishes.
Regardless, there is a time and a place for everything, and when I'm simply looking to add a little zing to a dish, the more mild Hell Fire "2 in 1" works well in a pinch. A seemingly simple recipe, its creators have neither tried too hard to fit 1,001 different spices into one jar, nor have they taken the old Tabasco route and simply soaked a few peppers in vinegar for a few months. Made mostly of habaneros and pimentoes (the "2 in 1" also includes a bit of tomato), the spicy-yet-slighty sweet taste of the Hell Fire brand makes for a terrific addition to otherwise-bland foods... nearly a full bottle of the stuff, in just a few weeks, has had its fate sealed by the hands of the Hot Pockets that have become my lunchtime staple while on travel. They also work well as hot sauces meats and especially in grilling marinades.
In the end, the Jamaican Hell Fire brand, while something of a misnomer, in my mind, they're nonetheless a decent option to have on your shelf, and probably has a spot in any hot sauce aficionado's collection.